it’s a wrap: the gift that keeps giving

After iPads, Garmins and Nikons, the next best gift of the season is booze.

Even amongst my consumption conservative family, gifts of merriment were plentiful this year, from an at-home beer brewing kit to lux wine accessories to actual alcoholic products (Great Lakes’ Edmund Fitzgerald!).

In the next few days, such presents will likely result in a gaggle of empty bottles awaiting their fate at the bottom of the recycling bin. However, thanks to another holiday tradition – me pretending I’m a knitting fiend who snatches up skeins of wool in October hoping to have made but one useful item by the time Christmas rolls around – I have a plethora of yarn that has never – and will likely never – see the likes of a pair of knitting needles.

This pairing could not be more perfect!

Behold the makings of a DIY vase, the big bottle craft of 2011.

(Easy, quick and mess-free) tutorial, below:

Materials: Yarn (I prefer wool because of its texture (synthetics are rough on your hands) and a yarn that has a bit of color variation built-in is always gorgeous and can help hide slight imperfections in your wrapping craft); a bottle or two;double sided tape; tacky or white glue; scissors and flowers (my preference is faux because they’re just as gorgeous and last for an eternity with absolutely zero responsibility to water (I kill Bamboo plants, that’s how not-green my thumb is!).

Step One: Drink up! Rinse, repeat  – if you’re looking to create a greenhouse 😉

Step Two: Take your roll of double sided tape and begin tacking it to the outside of the bottle from the bottom up, stacking the rings of tape directly adjacent to each other so that there are no gaps. You’ll likely have some minor mismatching, which is fine, (see photograph, below) as the yarn will stick regardless of your imperfections.

Tip: Leave the paper on the outside of the tape on so that it doesn’t attract loose particles as you work.

Step Three: When you’ve covered the barrel of the bottle, move up to the neck, skipping the curvature in between these sections. If you’re ambitious and have a strong desire to cover this part of the bottle, too, spread a thin layer of glue after you’ve covered the bottom half of the bottle in yarn and continue wrapping over this glued area.

Step Four: Begin winding your yarn around the bottle from the bottom up. When you start, try to conceal one end of the yarn with the following rows of yarn. Do not cut the yarn until you’ve covered the entire barrel of the bottle. Pay close attention to any gaps or overlaps that may form. Rolling your fingertips along the yarn and pushing down will help smooth any imperfections.

Tip: Remove the paper from the rings of tape as you work your way towards the top of the bottle, again, to eliminate chances of random debris becoming part of your vase!

Step Five: Repeat Step Four for the neck of the bottle.

Step Six: You may have loose strings in two-four different places depending on how well you’ve concealed the ends of the tarn. Take a tiny dab of tacky glue and apply to the bottle/ tape where the ends of the yarn should stick. Press yarn firmly into place for 10-20 seconds to ensure a tight bond.

Step Seven: Grab a bunch of your favorite flowers, arrange, step back and behold the beauty you’ve just crafted in under thirty minutes!

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